A few years back, while I was working on the Toronto production of the Lord of the Rings, the costume Designer Rob Howell brought for a reference a beautiful album of Couture by Lanvin, that took my heart.
The gowns of course were incredibly beautiful and elegant but what got my attention in the first place were the amazing embellishments and the fine craftsmanship invested in their creation.
Since I can hardly ever resist such a temptation, I decided to try and somehow reproduce one of them. I choose part of the embroidery on a gorgeous velvet evening jacket designed in very oriental, Japanese style, tweaked it a little bit, just so it has a more completed look and ended up with the motif that you can see here.
It might be hard to believe, but the most challenging part of this project, was collecting the materials I needed for it. I found out that almost 100 years after the original was made, it was extremely difficult to find the wide range of good quality threads, sequins and other materials necessary to reproduce such quality.
There are too many flashy, cheap looking and simply garish trinkets, filing all our craft stores nowadays, but hardly any that can compare with the quality of the fine notions of the past.
Finally, with all that I needed in hand, I got to immerse myself in the work itself. Even though it was a very slow and finicky process, it was a real pleasure trying to achieve the same finesse that was invested in the original, but of course I’ll leave you to judge how well I succeeded with this goal. The only thing I’m sorry about is not having a better picture of the original that will do it better justice, but nevertheless I decided to post the only one I have, so you can at least have some idea of what inspired me to take on such a project in the first place.